Syria blast kills Hamas militant
Syrian officials said the vehicle was booby-trapped
A car bomb in the Syrian capital, Damascus, has killed
a senior member of Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Izz El-Deen Sheikh Khalil died after his booby-trapped car
was completely destroyed in an explosion.
Hamas has accused the Israelis of being responsible
for the killing and threatened to retaliate.
Syria also blamed Israel for the killing..
The Israelis had vowed to hit Hamas leaders "wherever they are"
after suicide bomb attacks in August in Beersheba left 16 people dead.
Witnesses told her they saw Mr Khalil get into his car
and answer his mobile phone moments when the vehicle blew up.
Profile: Izz El-Deen Sheikh Khalil
Mr Khalil, aged 39, was a senior figure in the group's military wing
and a member of the generation that set the group up.
He was based in Damascus
He was among a group of around 400 Palestinian militants deported
by Israel to Lebanon in the early 1990s.
Israel has killed dozens of Hamas militants, including the group's
spiritual leader and his successor earlier this year.
The Israeli government also says it holds the Syrians responsible
for the actions of Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups
based in Damascus.
Syria insists its support is political and not military.
Last October, Israel carried out its first attack on Syrian soil
for 30 years, targeting what it called a Palestinian terrorist camp
near the Syrian capital.
This was in retaliation for a devastating suicide bomb
in the northern port of Haifa which had killed 19 people.
Syria said the target was a refugee camp.
Syria and Israel have long been at loggerheads over the Golan Heights,
which Damascus lost to Israel in the 1967 war.